Jason Cook, tells us “how easy it is to be blinded by the lights”
At first glance, you might be intimidated by Jason’s height and figure, he looks like he could throw a mean, right hook, however once he gets talking about his life and his future expectations you soon realised he is a genuine guy, very humble and at ease with the world, a very different life from what he use to have living amongst drugs and crime. Sitting across from me he seems very relaxed and content to talk about his life, proud of his success yet not arrogant and above all I like his honesty and willingness to talk about his past events however disheartening it might be to re-tell experiences he perhaps would rather forget
Jason has written two books, “There’s no room for jugglers in my circus” and “The gangster’s runner” and is currently writing the third book to complete the trilogy. Here he talks about his life in crime, drugs and prison and how ironically this dangerously fast life led him to writing three books and becoming his own success story.
Jason Cook, 34, was born in London, his parents decided to escape to Borehamwood to shelter their family from the crime and drugs scene which is profoundly known to exist in London. However this did not stop Jason becoming caught up in drugs; from the age of 12 Jason was dealing drugs from his bedroom window, by 17 he was dealing illegal/hard drugs and collecting debts for his gangster “friends”, ‘real friends didn’t exist, I was in a constant state of paranoia and trust was based on fear and addiction’. He was constantly at the gym trying to achieve a tougher image, building bigger muscles, so that he would be feared and respected by other dealers and criminals. At 18, Jason faced his first visit to jail, where he came into contact with more “hardened criminals” and learnt more tricks of the trade. On his release he was digging himself further into London’s underground crime scene, creating a bigger image and status for himself: “I became a gangster’s runner, mixed up in the underworld of London, working for bigger firms and bigger people, I was a chess piece between the firms, whether it be for collecting money or driving drugs”. It was his third drug overdose which led him back into prison where he did two years nine months inside, this time allowed him to re-evaluate his life.
When Jason was released from jail, the second time, he realised ‘something’s gotta give’: “My girlfriend was still using at the time, I had to try and stay away from her, my friends were still involved in criminal activities and the gangster way of life, my family were also using at the time, I had to change where I used to go, pubs, clubs, everything, it was very difficult for me”.
Surprisingly he got into writing on his release from jail, when rehab encouraged him and his group to write down their feelings or experiences, and as Jason puts it, “it took off from there”. He decided to write about all his experiences and form them into novels. To date he has been writing for 5 years, he has successfully written two books and is currently writing the third.
Jason describes his books as “very much his life and the experiences he faced. They show the gangster way of life, shows people getting hurt, the ripple effect of the drugs and how easy it is to be blinded by the lights”. He explains “along with its hard-hitting nature, there is also comedy worked into the book but also shows the deadly seriousness of his life in the London underground, that’s when people got hurt”.
Along with his books, Jason also does motivational speaking conferences to local communities, offering support to families or youngsters trying to lead different lives from, perhaps a life amongst drugs and anti-social or criminal behaviour. At these conferences he talks “about his life, his experiences and his involvement with gangsters and villains”, they would then do “team-building exercises, drama, role play and some scenarios where they would then come up with their own ideas”. As well as writing Jason does a mixture of other jobs including working on the doors, being a bouncer or security guard and also works on film sets helping to produce films.
What does the future hold for Jason? He is continuing with his motivational speaking within local communities for all ages and also hopes to turn all three books into films. “In the long term I would like to see a BAFTA, maybe, and for the people who came along with me to get the praise that they deserve as well”.
Jason Cook is living proof that life will throw you a lifeline, and that you need to use every opportunity given to you. Success and happiness is sought after by everyone, but some don’t grasp it when they have the chance. Life is unfair, period, but don’t let that stop you find your success, fight against all temptations and obstacles, everyone has resilience and ambition built in, “and they should channel that ambition to progress in life, don’t just follow the pack”.